crimes

Scientology has a long, well-documented history of breaking the law.

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Scientology's Crimes

Learn about allegations - and convictions - of criminal activity by Scientology organizations and executives.

Is Scientology Breaking the Law?

Is Scientology breaking the law? There's evidence that they are.

Guardian Office Memo Requests Update on Stealing Department of Justice Files

October 3, 1975: A Guardian's Office memo is sent to Richard Weigand requesting a compliance report on target 17 of GO 1361. (Target 17 directed the infiltration and theft of files relating to Scientology from the Tax Division or the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.) Weigand added a handwritten note to the memo that target 17 "is almost done" in Washington DC, but that six more weeks would be needed to complete the target at the Justice Department in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Police - Public Statement Regarding Eugene Ingram's Wiretapping

April 23, 1985: A public announcement by Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates disavowing any cooperation with Eugene Ingram, longtime Scientology agent, who claimed to have obtained a letter from the LAPD authorizing Ingram to eavesdrop on others.

Affidavit of Margery Wakefield

April 13, 1990: Testimony tells the story of her experiences in Scientology.">Margery Wakefield's affidavit describes illicit activities, hearing plans to murder individuals, and false imprisonment by the Church of Scientology.

crimes in the News

Date Titlesort icon Blurb Tags
April 6, 2000 Scientologists Are Saying Church Being Persecuted Lawyers for the Church of Scientology argued yesterday that criminal charges filed against them in a church member's death were brought by prosecutors determined to negatively brand the church. Prosecutors countered this case is not one of religious freedom, but one of medical neglect. Lisa McPherson had been under the care of Scientology for 17 days following a minor car accident and a mental breakdown. Prosecutors said she was badly dehydrated, malnourished and that the medical care church members gave her was unlicensed and inadequate. crimes, deaths, false imprisonment, Lisa McPherson, Press
December 14, 1999 Scientology: white-collar crime club Knoxville News-Sentinel: Scientology: white-collar crime club crimes
December 8, 1999 When Can A Church Be Accused Of A Crime? Lisa McPherson, 36, was a Scientologist who died after being under the church's care in Clearwater in 1995. The state has filed charges of abuse and practicing unlicensed medicine against the church's Flag Service Organization, or simply "Flag." McPherson died that Dec. 5 after 17 days at the church's Fort Harrison Hotel under the supervision of Scientologists. The state says she died of a pulmonary embolism, with dehydration and immobility as contributing factors. The state says her final days featured raving delusions and forced medication. Clearwater, crimes, Lisa McPherson, Press
November 24, 1999 Scientology Prompts Review Of Death Case In an unusual step, Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Joan Wood has agreed to reconsider her conclusions in the 1995 death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson. The medical examiner's findings are key elements in two court cases against Scientology. Three years after McPherson's death, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office charged the church's Clearwater operation with two criminal counts: abuse of a disabled adult and practicing medicine without a license. The church also faces a wrongful death lawsuit filed by McPherson's family. crimes, Lisa McPherson, Press
November 15, 1999 Reuters: French ex-Scientology leader guilty of fraud A French court sentenced a former regional leader of the Church of Scientology to jail for fraud in connection with courses offered by the organisation. crimes, France, Marseilles, Press
November 6, 1999 Police No Longer Checking On Church Clearwater officers haven't actively investigated the controversial Church of Scientology in several months. The Clearwater Police Department no longer assigns an officer to gather intelligence about the Church of Scientology, a major policy shift ending 20 years of vigilance against the controversial group. Clearwater, crimes, Press
October 24, 1999 IRS Examined Scientology Dollars, Not Dogma The Church of Scientology is, after all, an organization that bugged IRS offices, saw 11 of its members sent to prison and was found to be financing founder L. Ron Hubbard's lifestyle aboard a yacht. "Either Scientology changed very basically or the IRS changed. Or maybe both," former IRS commissioner Donald Alexander said of the settlement. "I hope that the IRS did not give in to intimidation," Alexander went on, alluding to the years in the 1970s when his agency battled the church. "I have great reservations, based on the public record and published stories, about this organization's activities and whether this was, is, or remains a money-making cult." crimes, IRS, Press
October 23, 1999 Scientology's Finances Detailed The Church of Scientology, the secretive international organization that recently won a decades-long drive for federal tax exemption, counts assets of about $400 million and appears to take in nearly $300 million a year from counseling fees, book sales, investments and other sources, according to documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The documents show that the group spends heavily on legal fees, advertising and fund-raiser commissions, and is spending $114 million to preserve the writings and tapes of its deceased founder, L. Ron Hubbard, which it calls its scripture. crimes, IRS, Press
October 23, 1999 Scientology Spends Heavily on Fund-Raisers xScientology, which recently won a decades-long drive for federal tax exemption, counts assets of about $400 million and appears to take in nearly $300 million a year from counseling fees, book sales, investments and other sources, according to documents filed with the IRS. Although leaders did not appear to make large salaries, some had relatives on the Scientology payroll. For example, in addition to his wife, [David Miscavige]'s father, stepmother, brother and sister-in-law are employed by the church. Also, his mother, two brothers-in-law and two sisters, though not employed by the church, earned commissions as fund-raisers. crimes, IRS, Press
October 8, 1999 Moscow Court Bans Church of Scientology A Moscow court has revoked a license from the Russian branch of the Church of Scientology following the filing of a case against the Humanitarian Hubbard Centre by a Moscow prosecutor after an investigation into alleged human rights abuses. crimes, Press, Russia

crimes in the News

Datesort icon Title Blurb Tags
September 30, 1996 Patrice Vic Trial Begins - Scientology Executive Charged with Manslaughter Trial begins in the death of Patrice Vic. Scientology executive Jean-Jacques Mazier is charged with manslaughter, and 22 other Scientologists also face charges. crimes, deaths, France, Patrice Vic, Press
April 13, 1990 Affidavit of Margery Wakefield Testimony tells the story of her experiences in Scientology.">Margery Wakefield's affidavit describes illicit activities, hearing plans to murder individuals, and false imprisonment by the Church of Scientology. crimes, Documents, false imprisonment, Margery Wakefield
April 23, 1985 Los Angeles Police - Public Statement Regarding Eugene Ingram's Wiretapping A public announcement by Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates disavowing any cooperation with Eugene Ingram, longtime Scientology agent, who claimed to have obtained a letter from the LAPD authorizing Ingram to eavesdrop on others. crimes, Documents, Eugene Ingram, harassment, Los Angeles, CA
August 3, 1980 Scientologist Elizabeth Eagleton Wiegand, Senator Eagleton, Stephen E. Poludniak, St. Louis. Libby Wiegand, $220,000, company;, Scientologist Elizabeth Eagleton Wiegand, niece of Senator Eagleton, and her attorney Stephen E. Poludniak are arrested and charged with extortion and conspiracy in St. Louis. Libby Wiegand had threatened to publicize embarassing information about the senator unless he purchased $220,000 of her stock in a family company; he refused to purchase the stock because he believed the money would go to Scientology. Although Scientology denied any involvement at the time, they later linked it to a Guardian's Office operation in their IRS Form 1023 declaration. crimes
October 6, 1979 Mary Sue Hubbard and 8 Other Scientology Executives Admit Massive Conspiracy Hubbard's wife Mary Sue and eight other Scientology executives signed a 282-page (plus exhibits) Stipulation of Evidence that detailed the government's case. That document details the burglaries, forgeries, conspiracies, to obstruct justice and other crimes committed. crimes, Guardian Office, Mary Sue Hubbard
October 6, 1976 Michael Meisner Moves to a Scientology-Rented Apartment; Coverup Continues Michael Meisner moves into an apartment at 444 South Burlington Street in Los Angeles. The apartment was rented by Paul Poulon (Collections Officer for the Information Bureau); the Guardian's Office wanted to reduce expenses and it was cheaper for Meisner to hide out in an apartment than in hotel rooms. Meisner spends most of his days at local libraries doing research on the security of government buildings, in order to support one of the cover-up stories, _viz._, that he had entered various government buildings to do an expose on the lack of security. Cinty Raymond and Meisner meet approximately twice a week to discuss the ongoing cover-up. crimes, Guardian Office, Los Angeles, CA, Michael Meisner
September 28, 1976 Mo Budlong writes to Richard Weigand, describing a plan for hiding Michael Meisner from his arrest warrant Mo Budlong writes to Richard Weigand, describing a plan for hiding Michael Meisner from his arrest warrant. This constitutes conspiracy, harboring a fugitive, and obstructing justice. crimes, Guardian Office, Michael Meisner
October 3, 1975 Guardian Office Memo Requests Update on Stealing Department of Justice Files A Guardian's Office memo is sent to Richard Weigand requesting a compliance report on target 17 of GO 1361. (Target 17 directed the infiltration and theft of files relating to Scientology from the Tax Division or the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.) Weigand added a handwritten note to the memo that target 17 "is almost done" in Washington DC, but that six more weeks would be needed to complete the target at the Justice Department in Los Angeles. crimes, Guardian Office, Richard Weigand, Washington DC
September 21, 1975 Scientologists Commended for Breaking into Government Offices Gregory Willardson writes a CSW (Completed Staff Work) to Jane Kember and requests commendations and awards for various staff members who had been involved in executing GO 1361 (which directed breaking into government offices and stealing documents), including Cindy Raymond. crimes, Guardian Office, Jane Kember
October 10, 1972 Guardian's Office Weekly Report Directs Attacks on Paulette Cooper Scientology Guardian's Office Weekly Intelligent Report notes that Paulette Cooper is "still actively attacking Scientology" and lists three "handling" actions, including giving New York Scientologists orders to "attack her in as many ways as possible"; this item says that action has already been taken on "wide-scale exposure of PC's sex life." crimes, Guardian Office, harassment, New York, Paulette Cooper